But sometimes numbers can have the opposite effect: more personalized services. That’s the case in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where HR data analytics are informing workforce-related decisions.
Better insights are helping leaders attract, develop and retain talent while supporting higher employee productivity and satisfaction. Ultimately, the HR analytics are empowering state workers to deliver better and more enduring outcomes to the people they serve.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
"One of the benefits in building the analytics platform is first a single source of data, which allowed for better reporting and, again, increasing credibility. It also provides an agility in the model to enable storytelling."
"We are able to toggle together various factors and data sources to tell our story and, in fact, leverage fact instead of anecdote in order to manage a better business case."
"Today, we can report on success in garnering those data wranglers to leverage our investment and we built a platform where we bring our HR leadership team together once a month to actually tell stories of where predictive analytics is informing change within the business."
"It is, again, serving its intended purpose to better inform how we’re managing our workforce. It is providing us fact, not fiction or anecdote and really allowing us to tell wonderful stories about how to effect change."
"With the investment in the analytics platform, we have embarked on building a workforce plan in a very informed manner. We feel much more confident as an HR leadership team now to do so, as we have credible data, specific again at the Executive Branch in order to understand our future hiring needs."
"With our investment in analytics, we are much more empowered in a very informed way to tell a richer story."
"Not just numbers, but pictures and charts that helps again to inform our approach to building strategies to improve our HR service."
"We earned the opportunity to invest in our HR analytics platform and, fortunately for us, we chose a good partner in Accenture."
The Human Resources (HR) Division for the Commonwealth provides HR leadership, guidance, management, and HR best practice solutions to state agencies, all executive department employees, and municipal subdivisions.
While each agency has unique needs, all share common HR challenges around talent recruitment, development and retention, as well as overall productivity and effectiveness. The Massachusetts HR Division identified an opportunity to use HR analytics to address some of those challenges—while positioning HR as a high-value talent and decision-support function for all state agencies.
Underscoring its commitment to people first, the HR Division wanted to understand user needs from multiple perspectives. It worked with Accenture to conduct interviews and workshops with 50 HR and business leaders. The result: 49 use cases for how the data could help tackle key HR and business challenges.
With those use cases, the HR Division created standard reports and on-demand analytics to answer a range of critical questions across the HR domains of workforce profile, absenteeism, recruitment, retention and compensation. Among those questions:
The HR Division designed, built and tested the solution in collaboration with 30 business and data champions from across the Commonwealth. The team released the analytics iteratively—allowing time for additional feedback and refinements while also nurturing user buy-in. Since then, the analytics capabilities have been released to nearly 200 senior executives, managers and report producers. At the same time, Massachusetts has affirmed analytics as part of its culture by establishing a dedicated HR Analytics team.
Today the Commonwealth of Massachusetts operates a world-class HR Analytics program—with the central team collaborating with Secretariat partners to drive business value.
With headcount capped at current levels, DTA Commissioner Jeff McCue saw a significant challenge with absenteeism and wanted to understand how to help employees better handle high volumes of inquiries and applications while protecting work/life balance.
When employees miss work, it has a big impact on service delivery. Partnering with the state’s HR Analytics team, McCue and DTA’s Director of Performance Management asked a key question—What are the patterns of absenteeism that reduce time worked?—and established their hypothesis: There are patterns of absence that are diminishing productivity.
HR Analytics delivered insights that are empowering DTA to improve workforce planning and work allocation—including casework management based on absenteeism patterns.
DTA engaged other staff to fill the gaps, stayed on track and processed...
In using the HR Analytics capabilities, McCue and his DTA team have adopted a simple yet powerful philosophy: “What gets measured gets treasured.” It’s a statement that speaks to the power of analytics. It also underscores the commitment of the Commonwealth to its greatest “treasures”: its dedicated workers and the citizens they serve.
Department of Transitional Assistance
"The HR Analytics tool portrays key data for agency managers that will be instrumental in securing higher individual, team and agency performance [and] more effective resource deployment. It will be exciting to watch how this tool can be used in the Commonwealth to make HR a stronger strategic partner in agency planning and performance."
Client Account Executive, Accenture
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